Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program

As the U.S. partner for Birdlife International, the National Audubon Society identifies and works to conserve a network of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) throughout the U.S. The IBA program in the U.S. is implemented on a state-by-state basis, with coordination at the national level through the National Audubon Society. State-level IBAs are prioritized as continentally or globally significant. This prioritization focuses the IBA program on achieving the greatest conservation results. IBA conservation activities include habitat restoration, land acquisition, and education of local communities about their unique birds and bird habitats. To learn more about the IBA program, visit

The Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch IBA includes madrean mixed grass praries, madrean oak woodlands and riparian habitats.

Grasslands have been designated priority habitat by the Arizona Partners in Flight (APIF) Conservation Plan. The Appleton Whittell Research Ranch of the National Audubon Society's IBA contains the following grassland species of special conservation status:

Botteri’s Sparrow (breeding)
Baird’s Sparrow (wintering)
Cassin’s Sparrow (breeding)
Grasshopper Sparrow (resident)
Montezuma Quail (resident)
Black-chinned Sparrow (wintering)
Brewer’s Sparrow (wintering)
Sprague’s Pipit (fall migrant)
Sage Sparrow (wintering)
Eastern Bluebird (resident)
Burrowing Owl (resident)
Northern Harrier (wintering)

Non-grassland species of special conservation status include:

Band-tailed Pigeon (fall migrant)
Willow Flycatcher (summer visitor)
Lucy’s Warbler (breeding)
Virginia’s Warbler (breeding)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (summer visitor)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (breeding)
Cordilleran Flycatcher (breeding)
Gray Flycatcher (breeding)
MacGillivray’s Warbler (fall migrant).

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